Diebold’s new top executive has a background in information technology and telecommunications. Directors hope his experience will guide a turnaround by the company.
Diebold’s directors are hoping a background in information technology and telecommunications will help its new top executive as he tries to turn around the bank self-service and security company.
Andy W. Mattes, 52, took over Thursday as Diebold’s president and chief executive officer. He also was named to the board. He replaces Thomas W. Swidarski, who left in January.
The California resident and native of Nuremberg, Germany, comes to Diebold after a four-month, nationwide search.
Directors hope Mattes can lead Diebold through a transformation into a company driven by software and services-oriented technology, said Henry D.G. Wallace, the company’s executive chairman.
“He is an experienced leader with a proven track record of generating sustainable, profitable growth through effective execution and strategic leadership — particularly in a global software and services environment,” Wallace said in a statement about Mattes’ appointment. “He has the right combination of knowledge and experience at the major corporate level to lead our company during this period of swift change in the industries we serve.”
During his first day in the office, Mattes met employees and led an afternoon meeting with the work force. Plans were to record the meeting and share it with employees worldwide.
In the company announcement, Mattes said he is excited to be joining Diebold “at such a critical time.”
He takes the helm as Diebold begins a plan to cut costs by up to $150 million per year by 2015. The effort includes cutting 700 jobs from Diebold’s worldwide work force of 16,000. The company also has waded through two poor quarters, posting a loss of $13.4 million during the first quarter.
Mattes noted the cost-cutting effort in the company statement and said he looked forward to continuing work aimed at rejuvenating the business. Diebold has a tremendous history and strong global brand, Mattes said, adding that the company has a “solid services and technology foundation from which to grow.”
The markets appeared to take a “wait-and-see” attitude about hiring Mattes. Shares closed at $31.93 on Thursday, up 26 cents in below average trading.
Most of Mattes’ career has been spent with large multinational corporations.
He joined international electronics manufacturer Siemens AG in 1985 after studying business management science at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich. He graduated with a Diplom Kaufmann, the German equivalent of a master in business administration.
During 20 years with Siemens, Mattes held several management positions. He was chief executive officer of Siemens Communications USA, based in Florida, when he left in January 2006 to be head of sales for the Technology Solutions Group at computer giant Hewlett-Packard.
Mattes held several senior management positions at Hewlett-Packard, and was senior vice president and general manager of Enterprise Services for the Americas, a division larger than Diebold is as a stand-alone company. Mattes oversaw 40,000 employees and was responsible for about $10 billion in revenue.
Page 2 of 2 - After joining Hewlett-Packard, Mattes was among several Siemens executives interviewed as part of a bribery case against the German company. The investigation started in November 2006 in Germany. The Securities and Exchange Commission determined that beginning in the 1990s, Siemens made illicit payments in dozens of countries. The company paid $800 million in fines to the U.S. government.
Diebold officials said they reviewed the matter while vetting Mattes. The board is comfortable that he wasn’t involved in any improper activity, a spokesman said, noting that no charges were brought against him.
Mattes left Hewlett-Packard as that company rolled through upper-management changes.
Hewlett-Packard now has Ralph Whitworth, a partner in Relational Investors, serving as interim chairman. Whitworth and Relational are driving an effort to split Timken’s steel business into a separate company.
After leaving Hewlett-Packard, Mattes served as a consultant and business adviser helping smaller technology companies. Three months ago, he joined Violin Memory, a maker of flash-memory computer-storage systems, as senior vice president for global strategic partnerships. He will continue as an adviser for Violin, Diebold said.
Mattes is a German citizen, but has worked and lived in the U.S. for about 10 years. His wife and three young children live in Atherton, Calif., south of San Francisco. The family will move to Ohio.
Mattes has an initial two-year agreement with Diebold, with options for annual renewal. His base salary is $775,000 per year, and he’s eligible for annual incentives. He also will be granted $500,000 worth of Diebold stock.
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